Hey, if you’re sick of talking about formula marketing, you want to talk about health care costs instead? I just paid over $1800 for a one-month supply of medication yesterday, so the topic is sort of on my mind at the moment, along with other important issues such as how in the GODS’ names are they going to wrap up Battlestar Galactica with just three more episodes and dude when is Dylan going to start sleeping better WHEN?

So yeah, $1800. When JB left Microsoft, we knew there would be a brief gap between when our insurance was dropped and COBRA picked up, but I didn’t manage to time my prescription refill so that it wouldn’t fall directly into that gap and what what, this costs how much? We should in theory be getting reimbursed for that expense but my god, I keep thinking about people who don’t have coverage or their coverage doesn’t pay for insanely expensive drugs that don’t have generic equivalents and seriously, sixty dollars per pill? No wonder I have family members who routinely buy prescription meds overseas during their vacations and essentially become cruisewear-sporting drug mules, because what the hell else can you do when you can’t afford the insurance that would pay for the medication you need?

Health care was our biggest concern about JB starting his new business, because Microsoft basically has the best medical benefits in the known universe. We’ll be on COBRA for 18 months, but after that we’ll need to get private insurance or JB’s company will need to buy a policy for its employees. In the meantime, the COBRA plan which provides us with the same level of free healthcare that we’ve had for the last several years now costs us $1200 per month.

What a massive barrier for anyone considering an entrepreneurial path — especially someone with a family to support — and yet another reason the economy’s going to keep circling the goddamned drain until some changes are made, what a profoundly fucked-up situation it is that everyone in our country doesn’t have access to good healthcare, and what a crime against humanity that one pill should cost sixty dollars and DOESN’T EVEN GET YOU HIGH.

Anyway. Blah, blah, blah, Sicko etc blah.

On a more positive healthcare-related topic, JB’s new company is called Vioguard, and their first product is a self-sanitizing keyboard that uses UV light to destroy bacteria on its surfaces. The idea is to help cut down on infections that can be spread via shared workstations in healthcare facilities, so patients will be less likely to have their flesh be eaten by MRSA and other diseases when they go to the hospital. Also, I’m pretty sure it works on zombies, so obviously I’m quite proud of his new endeavor.

The other day in my various clickings around the internet I came across a webcomic devoted to the author’s fury at having received a formula sample in the mail. I scanned some of her other comics, which were mainly focused on being angry at people who put their children in cribs and have the audacity to try sleep training methods (one that particularly sticks out in my mind is the comic depicting the incredulous holier-than-thou heroine chastising an off-panel voice for attempting the Great Evil CIO after she had suffered a miscarriage before having the non-sleeping baby in question — because apparently enduring challenges on the way to parenthood renders a person ineligible for making their own parenting decisions, or something). While I pretty much got the feeling that this woman and I wouldn’t have a whole lot in common if we were to meet up on the playground, I wouldn’t bother to bring this up — because different strokes for different folks, right? — except what the hell, can someone explain what is so offensive about having a formula sample show up in your mailbox?

Because, see, I’ve seen this before, where people get all bent out of shape about the fact that sometimes hospitals include a little freebie of formula in that bag of crap they give you before sending you home, or how once you’re on that mysterious New Parent master list you tend to get a mailing or two that includes a coupon or a can of Similac or whatever the hell it is. This is totally confusing to me, because if you receive something you do not want, can you not just throw it away? Or give it to someone who needs it?

Even if someone considers formula inherently evil — and boy, I will heartily disagree with you on this point, since as a person who did not have the option of breastfeeding you’re certainly not going to convince ME that the substance my babies existed on exclusively for the first several months of their perfectly healthy, thriving lives is a product without value — what’s the point in throwing a fit about being mis-marketed to? Is there really the expectation that the companies that produce infant formula should quietly sit back and opt out of any advertising, because by god every mother on this earth had better be breastfeeding whether she’s capable of doing so or not?

If you ask me, the energy put towards a Samuel Jackson-esque tantrum of great vengeance and furious anger over a container of powder would be much better invested in packaging up that container and sending to someone whose paycheck is going to be strained by the months of PAYING for said powder.

Also, I’m pretty sure bringing up someone’s miscarriage in order to criticize their parenting choices earns you a special place in hell, hopefully involving being submerged in a vat of spat-up formula while having to listen to this commercial over and over again.

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